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The School Story by Andrew Clements

The School Story (2001)

by Andrew Clements

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1,958165,223 (3.79)3



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If you loved books as a child, were serious about wanting to write books, or just wanted to know more about the business side of publishing, this would have been the book for you. Basically a 12 year old wants to publish a book and through an entertaining and basically interesting series of events, she does. All the characters felt very plausible, and even though this could technically be considered an elementary to middle-grade novel it kept my interest to the fullest. The publishing world is so interesting and heck I may even be interested in that line of work someday -- who knows. Also had some very touching moments with a strong family and friendship dynamic that I appreciated, the author is very adept at crafting a tale of realistic characters and story. ( )
  Pashii | Aug 28, 2017 |
  SteppLibrary | Mar 8, 2017 |
I enjoyed reading this book! This book can be very inspiring for young readers giving them the idea that anything can happen! Not only does this book contain some empowering moments, it contained a lot of mistakes and mishaps as well. This allowed the book to teach some great lessons, for an example, there is an incident about cheating in school that occurs. This is something that can realistically happen therefore it teachers readers a strong message on what can happen if you cheat! The main characters Zoe and Natalie are two 6th grade girls that many readers can relate to. They are ambitious but also like normal students. The big message in this book is a lot about the important of family, good friends, and good moral values. Another message would be about working hard to get what you want and you will achieve, no matter the task. ( )
  ldewey1 | Feb 13, 2016 |
This is a wonderful children's novel, recommended to me by a friend. Twelve-year-old Natalie has written a short novel, and her best friend Zoe is convinced it should be published. Natalie's mother is an editor working in a publishing house, but Natalie doesn't want her to be biased... so the girls enlist the help of their English teacher, invent pseudonyms for themselves, and work out how to get the book into Natalie's mother's hands.

The characterisation is excellent, contrasting the quiet Natalie who lacks confidence and the outgoing, sometimes pushy Zoe; it's this contrast which moves the story along, making it difficult to put down, even though some of the ideas the girls have seem rather far-fetched when I think about it now. It's educational in a low-key kind of way, covering as it does the processes required to get a book published, including the legal contracts and publicity. There are are one or two less likeable, caricatured people - Natalie's mother's boss springs to mind - and while it isn't a humorous novel, there's a light-hearted feel to it which made me smile in places.

It's more than just the story of Natalie's novel; there are themes to be explored, such as office rivalry, and coming to terms with the loss of a parent, as well as the importance of standing up for one's dreams. Intended for approximate ages 8-12, this would probably appeal to some teenagers too... and parents! Highly recommended. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
I enjoyed reading this chapter book for a few reasons. First, the author includes pictures throughout the book to provide context to the text. For example, the two main characters are having a phone call with each other. The author illustrated the two girls so the readers could have a better understanding of their conversation. Second, the author used a lot of text features to make the book more interesting. For example, when the main character in the story is writing her book, the author indents the text and uses a different font to make it stand out. I think the overall message of this book is If you believe in yourself, then you can accomplish anything. ( )
  Kelsey_Barrell | Apr 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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For Stephanie Owens-Lurie and Rick Richter - without whom, less
~ A C
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Natalie couldn't take it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description

Natalie's best friend Zoe is sure that the novel Natalie's written is good enough to be published. But how can a twelve-year-old girl publish a book? Natalie's mother is an editor for a big children's publisher, but Natalie doesn't want to ask for any favors.
Then Zoe has a brilliant idea: Natalie can submit her manuscript under a pen name, with Zoe acting as her literary agent. But it's not easy for two sixth graders to put themselves over as grown-ups, even with some help from a couple of real grownups who are supportive but skeptical.
The next best-selling school story may be in their hands - but can Natalie and Zoe pull off their masquerade?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689851863, Paperback)

Don't mess with Zee Zee Reisman from the Sherry Clutch Literary Agency. Especially when she's promoting the hot new novelist Cassandra Day. New York's publishing scene is familiar with tough players like Zee Zee, and impressed by the book she's pushing... but stunned when they find out Zee Zee and Cassandra are both 12-year-old girls. Zee Zee is really Zoe, fiercely loyal and self-assured best friend to Natalie Nelson, a.k.a. Cassandra Day. When Natalie writes a story, a really good story, Zoe is determined to let the whole world know. Using her formidable wits and all the resources available to a well-to-do New York City girl, Zoe, along with their timid English teacher, Ms. Clayton, proceeds to chip away at the challenge. The catch? The editor Natalie wants happens to be her own mother, an editor at Shipley Junior Books. But Natalie wants her authorship to remain a secret to her mom so that she'll get a fair shake. What ensues is a masterfully elaborate plot to get the manuscript in the right hands--and away from the arrogant, unfriendly editor in chief.

A highly original plot with plenty of intriguing side stories makes this a thoroughly satisfying read, especially for future novelists, agents, and editors. The publishing world is explored in just enough detail to gently banish romantic notions, but not to quell enthusiasm. The subplot around Natalie's father, who died four years earlier, is an almost silent but strong undercurrent to the story. This graceful and enjoyable novel from Andrew Clements (the bestselling author of The Janitor's Boy, Frindle, and The Landry News) is illustrated with rather gloomy, yet strangely funny black-and-white drawings from Brian Selznick, the illustrator of Clements' Frindle and The Landry News. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:22 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

After twelve-year-old Natalie writes a wonderful novel, her friend Zoe helps her devise a scheme to get it accepted at the publishing house where Natalie's mother works as an editor. Natalie uses a pseudonym to write her first book, and her friend, Zoe, pretends to be an agent. With a little help from an English teacher, the book exceeds everyone's expectations and becomes a bestseller!… (more)

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Average: (3.79)
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2 13
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3 35
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